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Britain, France again at loggerheads over easing post-Brexit fishing row

Relations with France have become increasingly strained since Britain voted to leave the EU in 2016. London's recently struck security pact with the United States and Australia did little to build trust with Paris.

October 31, 2021 / 07:31 PM IST
Relations with France have become increasingly strained since Britain voted to leave the EU in 2016 (File image: Reuters)

Relations with France have become increasingly strained since Britain voted to leave the EU in 2016 (File image: Reuters)

Britain and France clashed again over a post-Brexit fishing row on Sunday, with London calling on Paris to withdraw its threats and rejecting assertions there had been any agreement to try to cool a heated argument that could ultimately hurt trade.

The two sides painted very different pictures of a one-on-one meeting between Prime Minister Boris Johnson and French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of a G20 meeting in Rome and there was little sign of the dispute being resolved.

After the more than 30-minute meeting, a French official said the leaders had agreed to try to de-escalate the row, a description rejected by Johnson's spokesman, who called on Paris to move first if Macron did want to ease strained ties.

"It will be for the French to decide whether they want to step away from the threats they've made in recent days about breaching the Brexit agreement. That will be a matter for them," Johnson's spokesman told reporters.